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Great news if you’re planning a trip to Europe: From now through June 28, all round-trip award tickets on United from the US and Canada (excluding Hawaii) will be discounted by 25% to 45,000 United MileagePlus miles round-trip at the United Saver Award level. While this amount matches American Airlines’ off peak award rates (offered November 1 – December 14 and January 10 – March 14) United is offering its discounted rates from August 23 through March 31, 2017, with blackout dates between December 15 and January 8.
The offer is only valid on flights marketed and operated by United, not other Star Alliance airlines. But this makes for a great value, especially if you can do a late summer vacation to Europe. Flights from San Francisco (SFO) and Los Angeles (LAX) to London and Paris in August are well over $1,000 round-trip, so redeeming 45,000 miles could end up getting you a value of 2-3 cents per mile.
Unlike previous United offers that were only valid for elite members or for people willing to travel on weekdays, this sale is bookable by anyone with United miles whenever there is Saver availability. Note that if you’ve already booked an award at the higher rate, you may be able to have the ticket re-priced by calling United reservations at 1-800-864-8331. It never hurts to ask!
TPG values United miles at 1.5 cents apiece, so even with the discount you may still get a better deal by paying cash. For example, if your paid airfare is less than $756 ($675 plus $81 in taxes), you may want to pay cash for your tickets, instead. Also, keep in mind that paid tickets earn miles, though award flights do not.
H/T: One Mile at a Time
Even after the introduction of the Chase Sapphire Reserve, the Chase Sapphire Preferred is still a fantastic choice if you want to avoid the Reserve’s $450 annual fee, earn 2x on all travel & dining and earn a 50,000 point sign up bonus.
- Earn 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $625 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
- Named Best Credit Card for Flexible Travel Redemption - Kiplinger's Personal Finance, July 2016
- 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
- Earn 5,000 bonus points after you add the first authorized user and make a purchase in the first 3 months from account opening
- No foreign transaction fees
- 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
- Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 50,000 points are worth $625 toward travel
- No blackout dates or travel restrictions - as long as there's a seat on the flight, you can book it through Chase Ultimate Rewards